Egypt's military rulers rejected Finance Minister Hazem el-Beblawi's resignation on Tuesday. The minister decided to step down in protest at the government's handling of clashes between Christian Copts and army troops in which 26 people were killed earlier this week.
“Although it may not be a direct responsibility of the government, at the end it falls on its shoulders,” his resignation statement said, according to official media. Reports about the resignation of the entire government were denied.
El-Beblawi, who also serves as the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, was appointed by the ruling military council in July following mass protests against the former minister Samir Radwan.
The country's Coptic Christians began a three-day fast on Tuesday to mourn the dead.